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Inhibition of task set: converging evidence from task choice in the voluntary task-switching paradigm.

Lien, Mei-Ching; Ruthruff, Eric.
Psychon Bull Rev ; 15(6): 1111-6, 2008 Dec.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19001576
This study looked for evidence of task-set inhibition in a voluntary task-switching paradigm. Participants performed one of three tasks on a digit parity (even or odd), size (less than or greater than 5), or distance (near or far from 5). On each trial, they were allowed to choose which task to perform, with encouragement to perform each task equally often overall and in a random sequence. The question was whether participants would avoid performing a task that they had recently switched away from (e.g., the task performed on trial n-2), because the task set was still inhibited. Results confirmed that participants strongly avoided performing the n-2 task (e.g., ABA) in favor of performing other tasks (e.g., ABC). This occurred both when participants were required to switch tasks every trial (Experiment 1) and when they were allowed to repeat tasks (Experiment 2). The results suggest that a task set is inhibited during switching to a new task, reducing the likelihood that this task will be selected in the near future.